Friday, June 22, 2012

Week ending June 23rd...

No rain again this week... Time is running out for a rain to save our corn crop.  In addition to the dry soils we also have Japanese and Corn Rootworm Beetles clipping ear silks off in a couple fields. If you allow the population of beetles to become too severe, they can clip silks back to the point where the they will not be long enough to intercept the grains of pollen falling down from the tassel; thus having an ear of corn that is not pollinated which yields zero.  Once we scouted our fields and inspected our beetle pressure, we decided to call in the plane to spray them with insecticide.  Within five hours of our phone call, the plane arrived.  The product mix we are using contains two modes of actions; one for immediate "knock-down" and another for residual which should last us 14-21 days depending on how hot temperatures get.  We did not have the beetle pressure in many acres, but rather in our first two fields that we planted.  Beetles tend to congregate in the earliest planted fields in the area.  We will continue to stay vigilant and watch for more beetles in later planted fields.

Besides scouting corn this week we also hauled more corn from the bins and began mowing our roadsides in preparation for the Ashland Community Days and the 4th of July Holiday. 


Loading the semi from one of our grain bins 

Japanese Beetles clipping corn silks 

Spraying insecticide with the plane to kill the beetles

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Tassels are here!  On Wednesday this past week we began to see tassels in the tops of our early planted corn fields.  This is the earliest we have ever seen these by 10 days.  We are still very dry in our area, but at least the evening temperatures are dropping below 70 degrees which helps the corn plants respire much more efficiently.  Along with the tassels and silks, our annual friends the Japanese beetles have also arrived.  They like to chew on the tassels and clip the silks.  We will continue to keep an eye on them in case they get bad enough where we have to call in the airplane to spray them.

This past week we hauled more corn from the bins - we are almost empty.  We also attended the Sangamon County Fair in New Berlin.  Our plan this week is to sign our seed corn hybrid plot as well as finish hauling corn.  40% chance of rain this evening so we are keeping our fingers crossed... 

Happy Father's Day wishes to all you Dad's out there!

Tassels just starting to show 

Silks emerging from the ear shoots

Since wheat harvest has begun in our area, I thought I would include a picture of the wheat harvest on our farm - cira 1923.  Pictured is the late Rev. Goodsell who was the pastor at our family's church at the time.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Week ending June 10th...

Another dry week.  We have been hot and dry for many weeks now.  Sometime very soon, the weather will decide if we are going to have a big corn crop or a bust - we are quickly nearing that point.  Our soybeans look good compared with areas to the north who planted later and into soils that quickly dried out.  Soybean stands to the north are far much more spotty. 

I've included a picture of our first planting of sweet corn.  This would have been planted on March 27th.  It is tasseling right now, but unfortunately will be less than 4' tall and in most cases is 3' or less.  It doesn't appear that the sweet corn will be a bumper crop.  Their are a few fields of commercial corn that were planted earlier which have begun to start showing tassels.  Most of the corn in our area should start shooting tassels in the coming weeks.

This past week we wrapped up our last pass of herbicides on our soybeans around the Ashland area.  We continue to clean up equipment from spring planting and work around the shop.  Our county fair begins this week so many will be attending that.  Bring on the rain.

Corn closing the rows at our Elkhart Farm

First crop of sweet corn is less than 4' tall